tv Q A CSPAN December 11, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> major general marcia anderson, you were shy? >> i was kind of a bookworm in school and was much happier reading. i hated to be called on in class. i knew the answer, but i was not the one to be popping up to answer the teacher, and unfortunately, when you are one of the smartest kids in the class, and the teacher wants someone to give the right answer, you do get called on a lot. my palms were always sweaty, i would literally get physically ill when i had to stand up in class to answer a question or read a book report. over time, that has changed and the military is a big part of the rb that changed, because you're compelled to give briefings to people to give motivational talks to your soldiers. you have to put that all aside and either at some point learn how to do it or gut your way through it.
>> you made a speech to the opportunity nation, i want to run 30 seconds of it, show you in your professional uniform and making a presentation. >> ok. my parents, my father, was a korean war veteran, and what he really wanted to do when he was serving in the korean war was to work with planes. whether it was to fly the plane or work on the crews, but because of the limited opportunities at the time, he was a truck driver. my mother was one of the first young women to integrate catholic high schools in st. louis, missouri. she was a clerical worker. >> the first woman to integrate the catholic high schools in st. louis. how did she do that? >> there was a group of four young women, is my understanding, and she was one
of the four that entered the high school in st. louis, missouri, in, i think it was 1952, if i remember correctly, and the reason i even knew this was my one of my eighth grade teachers at my grade school in east st. louis, told me that she remembered my mother as one of those young women and my mother apparently was a pretty good intra-muriel basketball player, she was about four foot-nothing and she never mentioned to me she ever did sports. it was kind of neat to have my teacher talk to me about my mother. my mother never talked to me about that experience though. all ever knew is that she did it, that she graduated from the high-school, and so did i.. >> what did you ask your mother about the integration issue? >> not very much. she was always kind of matter of fact about those kinds of things. it was something that she had to do.
she certainly benefited, i think, from the experience, because she instilled in my brother and i, well, this is what you have to do. get yourself together. collect yourself and just drive on and get it done. she never talked about the expectations she had for us, but we always knew they were high. we grew up with lots of magazines in the house. we went to the library every saturday to take out books. i love to read, so for me, that was a treat, going to the library on saturday. it was just kind of her expectation, we didn't sit around and talk about this, it was simply, you're going to get good grades in school, you're going to try to excel at whatever you set your mind to do. i joined softball, played volleyball in grool. i was never very good at it but her expectation was that you give it 110%, whatever it is.
>> the same high school as your mother. >> yes. >> where is it, and why was there even segregation in the school back then? >> i am really not sure. maybe it was something that families did not consider, or as an option. i do not know. that's part of the conversation i should have had with my grandmother and grandfather, i never had that one either, and i regret that. as far as i know, there was not anything that said you couldn't go to school there, i'm not aware of that. i really do not know. >> you talked about your father, and you said that he wanted to do more than he did, and he was driving a truck. he ended up being in the korean war. alive? >> my mother passed away while i was in graduate school, and my father lives in wisconsin. >> explain what you're talking about when he wanted to do more than he was able to do.
>> we were talking, and just to provide some context, i did not even know he had served until i was promoted to colonel, and he was at my ceremony, and he began to talk about it, and he then pulled out his discharge certificate and put it on the wall. over time, since then, we have had infrequent conversations about his service. he did not actually deploy, but he stayed stateside, and he drove trucks. he drove officers. kind of how the conversation got started is he told me one of his best jobs was driving a colonel when he was serving. but you could tell he had other aspirations, but as i say, that is kind of where he ended up. >> what did both parents end up doing for their lives? >> my mother was a clerical worker. for most of her life. worked in offices, hospitals in a hospital in east st. louis, illinois. she and my grandmother worked
there for a little while. my grandmother ended up her career working for a salvage operation, again, as an office help person. and so my grandmother told me when she was older that one of her dreams as a young girl was to go to nursing school. but she couldn't afford. to there wasn't money to send her to nursing school in the family. so the opportunities that i have had, along with being the military, having the opportunity to go to college because of the various scholarships and grants that were available, didn't exist when they were growing up. >> you're a crayton undergrad? >> yes. >> and law grad from rut grers? >> yes. you have to advance and get promoted, i have a masters from the army war college in carlisle, pennsylvania. >> i wonder if you did what i
did in preparation for this interview, i started to read about it in the korean war, there was a mention of harry truman desegregating the services, i found his executive order issued on july 26, 1948, and the first paragraph of it, i'm going to read it, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the president that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. this policy shall be put in effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale. when you read on, service wasn't really desegregated until 1954, after the korean war was over. >> right. >> have you studied that? >> that's something i wasn't aware of. that brings back some thoughts my father did share with me
about that period. he described one event where they were having difficulty getting access to facilities on one of the installations he was serving he complained about it to one of his colonels he drove. the next thing he knew, there was a town hall or an assembly called by the post commander and he basically said, this is not how we do business. these soldiers that you're serving with are to be -- are to receive equal treatment he said things got better after that. i think that's just an example of how the military does a lot of things. we're given a directive, the leadership, they take it to heart and they make sure that soldiers understand that they support it fully and then that's passed down the line and everybody moves out and we make it happen. so he said things got a lot better after that town hall. i don't think it was called a
town hall but it was an assembly where the post commander made it clear, we are going to abide by the executive order in every way possible. >> you're in the spotlight a bit now for being the first major general, female, african-american. in the rhys -- history of the u.s. army. have you gotten tired of telling your story? >> no, i haven't. maybe it's still early, but i think the first time i realized that that was the situation, i was overwhelmed. but the more i thought about it, the more i thought, this is a great opportunity. it brings a responsibility with it but i think it's a great opportunity for people to take a different look at the military, have a different perception about who we are, what we look like, what we do, who is in the military. i know that it's resonated a lot with young women. i've gotten a lot of emails and messages and letters. and i -- it just shows how our
armed forces have consistently led the way in terms of providing opportunities and rewarding people who work hard. >> you're in the u.s. army reserves, 206,000 strong, what's the difference between being in the army reserve and being in the regular army? >> when you're a citizen soldier, that's exactly what that means, you are -- you're a full-time citizen and you work your -- as a part-time soldier but i think since 9/11, even before that, the part-time piece wasn't really part-time. with the advent of technology, i'm almost always in contact with what's going on. and the way i explain it to people, people say, how do you manage it? i say if you're passionate about something, say you care about your child's soccer career, you become an assistant coach or coach. you figure out how to work that into your daily life and ze
jewel. it's very much the same for people in the reserves. it's something that we are at bottom very passionate about. we care about our country and we feel we have a contribution to make, so you figure out a way to fit it in with your full-time civilian career. >> what's your full-time civilian career? >> i'm a clerk of court for the united states bankruptcy court in madison, wisconsin. we cover 44 counties in the state and my job there is very similar to being a general. i have a staff, i have an operational staff that manages the case load, i have two bankruptcy judges that i work for, and it's one of the greatest jobs in the world, besides this one, i think. >> how long have you done that? >> i've been with the federal court system, about 18 years now. 18 or 19 years. off and on. i worked at different levels in the courts. i had a -- i practiced law for about 10 years but decided i really like the administrative side of it, the law.
i like working with people, do a lot more of that in my current position and you know, bankruptcy is great because it gives people a fresh start. >> how much of your time is spent in the military duties? >> um, since i came off active duty at fort knox, i'd say -- i'm trying to keep it around to -- to around five days a month. but that means, in the morning before i wake up, i'm looking at my blackberry, at lunch time i try to get a lot of things done. things happen after hours at work. so it's a balance. >> so where do you spend your time now? are you -- do you still live in madison? >> i do live in madison, outside of madison. i'm in and out of washington, d.c., at this point. >> who has the call on your time? >> i still stay in touch with my civilian job, i have a blackberry from them, too, as well. i just, you know, whenever i
have a moment, i'll check in with my office and see what's going on but i've got a great staff at the bankruptcy court. they know what's in their lane and they know unless it's a huge emergency that they need my involvement in, they're pretty capable of handing -- handling it themselves. >> so of the 200,000 in the army reserve, how many spend five days a month in the service work? >> i would say, depending on the level, and what your job is, i mean, this is just a wild guess, not knowing them personally, i'd say 25% of us probably could look at their schedule and say, yeah, i spend about that much time doing things over the course of a month for the army reserve. >> what's your job now in the army reserve? >> i'm the deputy chief army reserve and i'm an individual mobilization augment', which means i can be called up at very short notice and placed on
active duty. so i'm not a traditional reservist in the sense that i go to a location and have a weekend meeting with other soldiers at a fixed location and i also have a training obligation, statutory training obligation. my time is pretty flexible, since i obviously work for the chief of the army reserve and that is a, you know, that is located at the pentagon and fort bragg, i will split my time as i need to between those locations. and you know, work on some projects. but that's pretty much what i'm doing right now. >> how long have you served on active duty? >> i was at fort knox for a year, that's my most recent active duty. my main project that i'm going to be working on for general stoltse is to try to take what we're calling a continue of
service and create the policies and processes that will make that a reality and what we're talking about there is kind of trying to figure out a way to allow soldiers to move seamlessly between civilian life and active duty, depending on where they are in their personal and career life cycle. right now it's very difficult to make that transition from active duty, if you want to continue to serve in the reserves and then move back again, because of a lot of policies and laws and regulations we have in place. >> how much does it help you that you have a federal job as the clerk of a federal court? is it easier to move back and forth buzz of that versus working in an engineering plant? >> a lot of the ability to be flexible and to serve, i think, depends on the employee's relationship with their employer. there are federal laws and
regulations in place that protect your job, if you have to go on active duty, but i think it's important for everybody, employer and employee, to keep open lines of communication to talk realistically about what your service means to you and what your job in the reserve entails, in term os they have amount of time you may have to devote to it. then i think it makes it that much easier for you to make that transition when you have to. but there are some barriers to that, because we didn't have an opportunity after 9/11 to -- we didn't have the luxury after 9/11 to take a look at our systems and processes and make the necessary changes, as we evolve as a military, so that's been lagging. our personnel and pay systems don't talk to each other so it's difficult to move somebody from traditional reserve status to active status. >> you've been in the u.s. army reserve from 1976 --
>> 1979. >> you were in rotc at crayton and you said that you had a requirement, a science credit, and that's how you got into army rotc. why would that be a credit in the science world? >> i don't know why that was at crayton. you know, at that time you had a certain number of basic courses you had to fulfill. i had some part-time jobs, i was working my way through school, i really wanted to take astronomy but for some reason, military at ta -- at that time, reserve officer training corps, was counted as a science credit so i signed up. i wasible to fulfill that basic requirement that way. >> as a -- in early life and when you were training, would we ever see major general marcia anderson down in the mud?
>> not at that point -- at this point in my career. >> but when you were trained, did you go through base extraining? >> you had to go through a norm of it as a cadet. >> did they treat women differently? >> no, absolutely not. we did everything. you got muddy, you got dirty, you low-crawled, did all the training exercises. you had to be physically fit as your male counterparts were. that continues today. women are much more involved, even though people have this sense that there's a front line, there really isn't a front line anymore. so you need to be a soldier, period. to be able to survive on the battlefield. >> there's some interesting statistics about the u.s. army reserve. 40% of army reserve soldiers are minorities. the nation is only like 25% or 26%. 25% are women. and out of the 6,136
african-american officers and army reserve, 2,474, maybe that's any officer, are women. why so many women in the reserves? >> well, number one, i think it's the mission of the army reserve, we have a lot of medical units, we have a lot of units that are not combat type units. so they really have -- we have only one infantry battalion in the army reserve. the rest of our mission is logistics. we have medical units, civil affairs, which involves a lot of special skill sets for civil awares -- affairs. a lot of what we do is attractive to females and two, it's a welcoming environment.
>> you said abimportant moment in your life was watching your mother and grer deal with a car salesman. when was that and why was it so important? >> i was in grool, maybe third or -- in grade school, maybe third or fourth grade, in the early 1960es -- 1960'sing back in illinois, we need -- we needed a new car. my grandmother had a vice president of the bank, they had a good banking relationship and i went to school with his son. so they went to the bank and got preapproved and they knew how much they wanted to spend on the car, they had researched it and they knew what we could afford. we all went to the dealership, them, my brother, myself, we were running around, it was just my mother and grandmother and we walked into the showroom floor and they ig -- the sales lady ignored them. they had a salesman who reluctantly came over and you know, said, we're interested in
buying a car, and there still wasn't much interest. and my grandmother or my mother, i don't know who it was. they said, we've got a letter, we're preapproved from the -- from the bank and it was one of the major banks in town, once they realized that, their hole attitude changed. but i took away from that, it's important to be prepared. and you know, they had to be assertive to get the salesperson's attention and interest and as a result -- and they now what they wanted. they weren't going to talked into anything more expensive than they could afford. i learned a lot of lessons from that. >> how much of that was race related? >> east st. louis, it was about 98% black, then the mix was very different. i think there was some of that involved. but i think it was gender related too. >> east st. louis has lost a
ton of population over the years. what was it like living there? how long did you live there? >> we moved there, i was in about second grade, about 8 years old. i lived there through high school my grandmother lived there until she passed away in just the past few years. i saw it change from a fairly diverse city, though not necessarily balanced in terms of the government and jobs, to one that's about 98% african-american today. and in that time, of course, a lot of businesses left, the main street that used to be a bustling place on a saturday, i think it's mostly boarded up now, very little commercial activity there anymore, at one point there was a study that about 5% or more of the population was on public assistance.
it's prime real estate for development, it's going to turn around, it's got enormous potential that i think is untapped. >> when you lived in east st. louis, illinois, you went to the high school, catholic high school, in st. louis. >> yes. >> how did that work? you went to crayton, which is a catholic school. why did you go with the catholic education? >> my grandparents were both methodist and they were living in east st. louis many years ago and they wanted the best education they could possibly get for their children and it was in the catholic school system. so they converted. and so all of their kids, all four of them, my mother included, went to catholic schools after that. so that was kind of basically what my mother felt was the best path system of she made sure we were enrolled in catholic school and i ended up going and finishing high school
where she went to high school. i have an uncle who is a jesuit. it was natural for me to attend a jesuit college. not natural, but i felt more comfortable. at the time, it was a nice, comfortable environment, about seven hours from st. louis, so it was easy to get to. >> when you think back, about the fact that you grew up being shy, where did you begin to get out of that? >> when i was a cadet in rotc, because you're put into leadership roles pretty quickly even in the reserve officer training program, when you go to your advanced course between your junior and senior year, i went to fort lewis, it was called fort lewis at the time, about a six-week period. you are rotated through various leadership roles. you're going to be the platoon sergeant for the day, responsible for getting your 40
people from point a to point b all kay long and accounting for people. you have to brief them what's next on the schedule. you have to stand up in front of a group and assert yourself and maintain control over that group and capture their attention. you're just compelled to. >> in your speech, what was the crowd you were speaking to back in early november this it was sponsored by "nhl overtime" nag steyn and aarp, what were you -- by "nhl overtime" magazine and aarp -- by "time magazine" and aarp, what were you talking about? >> talking about what it took to reach this point in my life and my real belief that that opportunity still exists for our young people. it's a little harder these days but i think we can still have people have dreams and goals and we have ways for them to achieve those dreams and goals.
>> i want to run a clip of you speaking about growing up in st. louis, east st. louis and we'll continue. >> 75% were on some sort of assistance. it was once described as america's -- 9 % of the population is african-american. that's where i grew up. my mother scraped together money to send us to catholic schools. she patched our pants because she couldn't afford news one. she scraped together money to have magazines to read in the house, like "newsweek" and "time" and of course "ebony"
and "jet." >> you smiled when you talked about "ebony" and "jet," tell me about that. >> she wanted to make sure we saw african-americans doing other things, those magazines provided information about business leaders, sports, we knew they were people doing things in our community they weren't doing in east st. louis. >> what did she do to scrape together money. i know tuition now is like $8,700 now at that high school. do you remember what it was when you went there? >> it was a couple hundred dollars. >> how did she find the money? >> i honestly don't know my mother and grandmother were great savers. they managed to save money. they researched ways to, you know, live as frugally as we possibly could but i never felt deprived. my mother would find money to take us to cultural events, i
got to hear, you know, an african-american pianist with the st. louis symphony, she made sure we got tickets to see things like that. i don't know where she found it but she did. >> you said the people of east st. louis, missouri, median income is $11,000? >> yeah, i did a little research the internet, that's what i came up with. >> how can you live on $11,000 a year? >> i don't know. i will say that, you know, they say it's a depressed area, so, you know, rents are not expensive, so the housing is not that good either. but i really don't know how people do it. i really don't. >> how much do you feel the need to talk to younger african-americans because of what you've achieved and tell them how to do the same thing you've done? >> i think they need to, you know, a lot of kids don't want to talk to guidance counselors in high school, i didn't, i
didn't think they were helpful, but there are a lot of scholarships out there, a lot of opportunities like the military to give you a full four-year education if you want to go on to college. we need to take better advantage of trade schools. community colleges. there are a lots of untapped resources out there and if they'll just go talk to their teachers, their guidance counselors or someone they trust, to give them some ideas, i think, you know, they see the people around them and maybe think, well this is all there is. this is all there is to life. but i think they need to be, you know they need to take advantage of the resources available. >> were your parents split, did they divorce when they were young? >> my parents were divorced by the time -- i think i was a toddler and my brother had just been born. so that was about 19 -- late 1950's. >> so your mother and grandmother raised you? >> yes, they did. >> there are a lot of examples we see all the time, people
talk about, what was different about your life, i mean, specifically, what was different about your life, do you think, that got you to where you are? >> as i said, it was just that expectation. even the unspoken expectation, a given that i was going to go to college. there was never a question of that. nobody had a real strategic plan for that, how that was going to happen, but they were determined that was going to be my reality. >> was that mom and grandmother both? >> mom and grandmother both. and you know, we always talked about college. it was just one of those conversations that we were having. you're going to college, you need to think about this, and what else do you need to do, you're going to get good grades in school. i think nowadays, if they had done more research about it, they would have said, whoa, that's going to be difficult to do. but it's just, you're going to figure out a way to do it and we're going to help you. >> what kind of student were you?
>> i thought the best day was when i got all my books for the first day of school and would start reading them. i would start reading my books the first day, before classes started. i loved learning about other places and new things. the only thing i hated was math. i never was excited about math class. i never understood why i needed to learn algebra and stuff. i loved history and english, just enjoyed it. >> why do you think you loved it? and what would you say to others, there are a lot of kids out there who don't have two parents in the home and don't even have one parent paying attention to them, how do they get out of it? >> you know, it opens up new ideas. i loved reading because it was like a movie. when i -- when i started reading a good book, it was like i had my own movie. you learn -- i'd learn new words, learn about different places that i since had a chance to travel to as an adult. it just opens up new vistas,
new ideas, just opportunities. >> why did you pick crayton and was what was your major? >> as i said, my uncle was jesuit, he was the artist in residence at crayton at that time. a lot of professors were people i had known when he was in seminary, they were like my uncles. it was a smaller school, wasn't so big that i would feel lost or overwhelmed. they had a great reputation academically, i was a political science major, i was interested in going to law school, and again, i loved -- i was very curious about history, i think history and politics kind of interwoven so there were two areas of interest for me so that's pretty much why i chose crayton. >> how about law school? did law school come before or after you did your initial military service? >> i joined rotc while i was an undergraduate at crayton. it happened that one of my rotc
classmates was in law school at crayton and i spent time talking to him about his experiences. i then went to work for a corporation after college for a couple of years while still working in my army reserve obligations. and then about two years after working for that corporation, i decided it was time to go to law school. >> why rutgers? >> well, once again, i didn't have a lot of thought involved -- involved in why i did something. i applied to schools on the east and west coast, because i grew up in the midwest and had never seep the ocean. i was like, i think new jersey is close to the ocean. but it had a good reputation, a good clinical program, and a good reputation as a good institution, and as a state university it was less expensive. >> we where did you meet your husband?
>> in a receiving line for a colleague of mine, a mentor, i should say, who was getting promoted to brigadier general. we met in a receiving line? where? >> in milwaukee. muck, waveg -- milwaukee, wisconsin. >> how long have you been married? >> 11 years. >> children? >> stepdaughter. this is a second marriage for both of us, i'm a new grandmother as of august. so um, he's my best friend, he had -- he was in the reserves at one point, got out a long time ago, but he's my sounding board. he calms me down when i get excited about things and yeah, he's a really good guy. >> go back in your military career and -- or as far as that goes, your job as clerk at the court, and name some people that spotted you and said, i want to help her and gave you some tips and helped you move
to the next rung. >> i think it would have been when i was a major and my battalion commander at the time, my brigade commander at the time, i'm having a senior moment, i can't remember his name, but i marched in to him and said i want to be a company commander. i made an appointment, i said, i knew there was a vacancy coming open, he was astonished anyone would do that, probably, so he gave me that chance. there were people who were resisting that. not my fellow captains but some of the older officers who had never had a female company commander in a basic training unit. then they saw how i applied myself and tried new ways to help get my soldiers ready for our mission and then after that, it kind of snowballed. i had a great mentor in a brigadier general, retired,
anthony d de-colleto, he was a great guy, encouraged me to think about getting my military education done and maybe aiming for the war college. i didn't even know what the war college was, he had to explain it to me. brigadier genre tired bob crowcroft, he's the officer whose promotion ceremony i attended where i met amos in the receiving line, a lot of n.c.o.'s. >> for somebody who has not followed the military. >> noncommissioned officer. >> what's the difference between commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers. >> commissioned officers you start as lieutenant and work your way up. noncommissioned officers, you start and work for a set period of time. enlisted soldiers sign a contract to serve for different periods of time for six, eight
-- four, six, eight year, indefinite. there's a lot more enlisted soldiers than officers and we like to call our enlisted soldiers in the army there the back bone of the army. they're the ones who get things done. >> what do you call each other? >> they'll call whatever your rank is. and you know, we'll call them sergeant, whatever their rank is. >> do you call them by their last name? >> sergeant jones. >> they're not -- unless -- an enlisted person won't call you anderson? >> no, they'll call me general anderson, or lieutenant, they'll call you by your rank. it's a manager-employee, supervisor relationship generally, but also colleagues because n.c.o.'s are experts and they also are the ones who execute what officers plan and
imagine and resource. >> who salutes first? >> the noncommissioned officer or someone junior in rank. >> can you generalize, there are a lot more people who are commissioned officers who graduate fw college and n.c.o.'s did not? >> i think that may have been true years ago. we have a highly educated source of soldiers period. a lot of our soldiers who were en-- who are enlisting now as privates already have degrees and while they're in the service, a lot of them have an opportunity to pursue and get their college degree and go on and get masters and ph.d.'s. i work with a lot of people with ph.d.'s. that's why i think we have the best army in the world. >> if you ask a noncommissioned officer who has a ph.d. why
would they say they would rather do that than be an snuffers >> they'll tell you they work for a living and officers don't. it's an opportunity to work in your specialty. once you're an officer, you're more of a manager, you're not out there with the soldiers. you're more directing and trying to find the resources so soldiers can get their job done. you don't get to play and hang out with the troops as much. >> you're a major general, you could become a lieutenant general? and a four-star general? >> in the army reserve, there's only one lieutenant general, and that's lieutenant general stolets. >> your boss. >> my boss. and i'm perfectly content to do my job as a major general and that's all i'm looking at right now is that job. >> let's say that you're having a private conversation with another woman and she's second lieutenant, bottom of the rung,
starting out. she comes to you and she says there's no cameras around, tell me what i'm going to be faced with as a woman, as an officer, in front of soldiers that if i were a man i wouldn't see. what tips would you give her? >> you know, i think that question is -- you know in 1979 there would have been a lot of differences. now, in 2011, i would tell her, what they really want from you is one that they can trust you, that you're going to take kear of them, whatever the mission is, you're going to make sure, though, that you take care of your soldiers, that you are a professional, that you're not just competent, that you're good at your job. that's all anybody wants, someone who gets me, cares
about me and is good at their job. i tell people, don't shoot for me minimum, sometimes you miss that mark. and that's true whether you're taking the army physical finance test or someone is giving you a task or a project. don't shoot to do just the c work, you've got to shoot for a work. >> so what's been the -- looking back on your career in the army, what's been the toughest situations you've had? >> when i was in lodi, new jersey, i walked in the the first day to meet my drill sedget and they were all males, and it was me, and my first sergeant and the look on their faces was like, oh, we got the female captain.
but -- and i kind of knew that i needed to gain their trust, that i knew the business, i was enthusiastic about training soldiers, taking soldiers off the street and turning them -- taking citizens off the street and turning them into soldiers and i respected them as professionals. because one of my former commanders used to say, before there's a war fighter, there's a trainer. and that's what drill sernlts are, they take people who don't know left from right or private from general. we show them what the bullet comes out of and turn them into soldiers, and in a very short period of time. >> how long did it take you too feel they trusted you? >> i'd say a couple of months months and it was a gradual process. i've never been one to say,
we've always done it this way, i'm going to do it this way. we had to rehearse the instruction. someone would stand in front of the room and the captain, the commander and the first sergeant would critique the class. i said, we're going to do this differently. i'm going to videotape you and we're going to critique you together. no one had ever done that before and they got a kick out of seeing themselves. so they started looking at me differently after that. she said, she's got a different way of doing business but gets it, how important it is for us to be good instructors. >> what kind of money can somebody in the reserve make in a year? i know it varies from private first class to major general but what can you take away?
>> well, >> for example, a weekend meeting on saturday or sunday, for a member of the army reserve, is the equivalent of four days pay for an active duty soldier. about a week's pay. the training requirement, 12 or 14 days for full time, that's two weeks right there. it's hard for me to give the exact dollar figure. people think about their own job, how much they make in a week, if you had two weeks pay. >> you get a couple hyundais a year in pay. >> in essence. >> if you do 50 weekends, 52 weekends, a couple -- a hyundais. do you have health benefits? >> incence, -- since i joaned, you have access to tricare --
joined, you have access to tricare. then you have access to, you know, regular medical providers. you don't have to go to a military installation to receive services. that's been a great benefit to people in the army reserve. >> so i'm 20 years old and join the service and i want to go to college. do i get financial help? >> you have access to tuition benefits, whenever you serve on act i duty, of coursing you're eligible to use g.i. bill benefits. >> let's say i'm a weekend warrior, as they say, i'm in the army reserve and all that. how much of college would you pay? >> now, i'll have to refer you to somebody who is an expert to provide information about that. i'm not that familiar since i had my degree already. >> is it enough to be of great value? >> absolutely. >> can you get your whole
education paid for? >> i'll have to refer you to somebody to thaps question but you can get a substantial portion of it paid for, yes. there are tuition benefits. >> do you feel all the slots easily? how is recruiting these days? >> we are making it our mission, prettir -- i think we made our mission early. i think across the army, as a matter of fact. >> how much does that have to do with the economy? >> um, you know, i'm not a recruiter but i would say that does play a role. but i also think we've done a better job explaining to people, one, the benefits to being in the service, whether it's full-time or as a member of the reserve or forward. and i think that that has resonated with a lot of people that you can learn a lot of skills in the army reserve that you won't necessarily gain in the private sector. >> let's go back to the question i asked you about a woman sitting in front of you or several women, saying give
us advice about being a woman in the army. say a young african-american comes to you, a young african-american woman, is there any difference in the way you'd advise them they're going to be treated? >> again, i think, you know, the military really leads the way in terms of providing opportunities for people being an organization that welcomes and values diversity and levranls that diversity. >> is there any evidence that integration is not working in the military? >> not that i can see, no. >> if it works so well in military, why doesn't it work better in society at large? or does it? >> that's a good question. i don't know. i can't explain that. i don't know if it's just the culture in the military that, ok, we are going to be the best military in the world, we have to use and leverage our assets.
it's something we have. >> you tell the story about driving in your car, listening to article histories in which you heard a granddaughter interview a grandfather and he had some recommendations for her. what was the -- what were the circumstances? why were you listening to it? what was the message you got out of it? >> i believe that was the story corps piece they sometimes do on npr and that kind of, you know, resonated with me because he was giving her lessons on life and it -- she was interested to hear what he had to say, i don't know how many people sit down with their grandparents these days and just talk with them about what
they experienced in their life and his advice was so basic and simple, you know, work hard, keep your family close. >> you said he wanted -- he told her to have courage. >> yes. >> what does that mean? >> well -- >> to you. >> well, to me, that meant not being afraid to try things that may be scary for you, kind of like when i joined rotc, something unfamiliar, i want to give them credit but it was unfamiliar territory, not to be afraid to speak up. throughout my military career, i prided myself on not being afraid to tell people what i thought. one, the worst thing you can do is let a senior leader head down the wrong road if in the back of your mind you're thinking, you know, sir, or ma'am, we need to take another look at this or look at it from another perspective. people's lives could be at
stake or we have an obligation and a duty to be good stewards of the resources that the public interests us with. sometimes you think, i think i have a different perspective and you have to have the courage to speak up. >> what's been -- what's been the toughest part of all of this. listening to you talk, it sounds like it was easy. marcia anderson just arched -- marched through and got two stars. what's been the toughest part, going to law school, becoming a clerk of the court, now being a major -- being in the reserve. >> one thing i learned to do was be a good observer of people and particularly people who did certain things well. to try to figure out how they
did it. so you have to pick up those subtle cues. i think a lot of young people they just think they can only find it on the internet. sometimes you need to sit in a meeting and listen. you need to listen to people and you need, definitely as a senior leader, do more listening than talking. so i kind of learned those things as i went along, i would study people who were successful, i would -- i love to read biographies, i would read their biographies and learn lessons from the things they did and from the mistakes they made. >> do you have a favorite biography? or favorite person you read about? >> abraham lincoln. when he hired a lot of people, not hired, but appointed a lot of people in his cabinet who were his adversaries, and pretty vocal adversaries at that. because he wanted those different points of view in the room, he wanted those different points of view to counsel and guide him.
and i kind of admired that. one the courage it took to put people who maybe weren't -- didn't have your best interest at heart but the courage to seek out people who were going to disagree with you, maybe, either ideologically or just in very basic ways. >> all right, what is the difference in the way people treat you when you have your two stars on, and your uniform on, and when you're a civilian, because you live in those two different worlds. >> that's where hi husband -- where my husband is really good. he reminds me i'm not general when i'm at home. people do a lot of things for you when you're at this rank to try to free you up to do the thinks you need to do, to get the work done you need to do. they -- you get a lot of assistance to get through your day. which i really appreciate. >> are they afraid of you? >> i hope they're not afraid of me. i try to remind them, i'm just
like them, i put my pants on one leg at a time. >> but what about when people know you're not happy? >> i don't know. i'll tell them, i'm not a yeller, i'm not a screamer, i'm a pretty level-headed person but i'll let them know if they disappointed me. if i ask them to do something and they have not met the mark, or if they give me the answer i think -- they think i want to hear, i'll tell them, i think you're giving me the answer i want to hear. >> can you remember a military officer that treated you in a way that you said, i'll never do that. >> oh, a couple of times. >> give us an example. >> well, there was -- there was an officer, one officer i worked for, who didn't have a high regard, i think, for women in general, but this is many years ago. he would dismiss me when we had
meetings or i had an idea or a thought about a course of action we might want to take. he was a bit dismissive. but i kept plugging away. because eventually something was going to get through. i guess i'm hard headed that way. >> do -- did you go to a higher rank than he did? >> yes, he got out long before i did, i'll put it that way. >> so when you're back home, you live where? >> i live in madison, wisconsin. >> in madison. in beloit? >> no. >> it's like barona, a small town. >> right. >> when you're on the job in your civilian job, what's the day like? >> i get up in the morning and work out, fairly early. you know my husband and i usually drive in separately. he would like to car pool but our schedules are so crazy we can't do that very often. i get to the office, do a lot
of things very similar to what i did in the military when i was commanding a unit. i check in with my staff, my chief of staff, find out what's going on in the day. i have a chief deputy at the bankruptcy court who functions like a chief of staff. handles the day-to-day management. i work on resourcing issues, work with the local bar, you know, on whatever they need help with, if they need any help. try to do a lot of strategic planning and thinking about where the court is going to be in the next five to 10 years and try to find ways to position us to be ready. >> and you said you like the fact that there is a bankruptcy court. >> it gives people a fresh start. a lot of people we see in our court, didn't get there because of poor habits. it's because of a job loss or they've had a catastrophic medical, illness in their family that depleted their resources. and so, you know, by and large,
people, at least in my court, i've looked at the records, they got there because of some misfortune. not because they were spendthrifts. >> going to write a book ever about all this? >> i don't think so. i guess -- i find it interesting that people find me interesting. i'm going to do my best as i go through the rest of my career to talk to as many young people as i can to encourage and motivate them. because i think -- i do believe that that's the next generation and we have to do everything we can to give them all the tools we can to succeed and achieve their dreams and goals. >> make sure i get this right. the headline is, marcia anderson, major general, united states army reserve, is the highest ranking female african-american in history in the army. >> that's correct. >> thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> for a d.v.d. copy of this program, call 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q-a-a.org. "q & a" programs are also available at pods can dast -- -- as podcasts. >> upcoming guests on "q & a" include sports writer and author john feinstein discussing his book "one-on-one: behind the scenes with the greats in the game" and michelle fields talks about her video coverage of stories including occupy wall street.
next, prime minister david cameron and the british house of commons. then the abc news republican presidential candidates debate from des moines, iowa. after that, former new jersey governor jon corzine talks with the house committee about the m.f. braups. -- bankruptcy. the euro zone debt crisis and this week's european summit in brussels dominated the debate in question time on wednesday. british prime minister david cameron answered several questions about safeguarding britain's national interest. on friday, the prime minister rejected an e.u.-wide treaty change saying it was not in the best interest ofy tain. the u.k. is not a member of the euro zone but is a member of the european union which represents 27 countries. >>